Traditional laboratory processes have given way to robotics for ensuring quality control and avoiding health hazards in 24x7x365 operation of cement plants.
Quality control equipment of cement industry, which was automated over the years, is turning towards robotics, of late. In the early days, sample collection and transfer it to testing laboratory and adjusting the controls based on the laboratory results were being done manually. Then came semi-automatic sampling and automatic sample preparation; followed by automation of sample transportation; then a compact and interlaced design that suits a single integrated line or a clinker grinding facility was introduced, and now, robots have entered the arena. Today, human intervention in the process has been reduced to almost nil by robots.
Increasing environmental regulations, need for production efficiency and cost control at every level, need to curtail human errors in this continuous process industry, and growing demand for consistency of product quality by customers are placing increasingly tough requirements for sample analysis quality and complexity, and for sample throughput in cement plants. Besides, availability of skilled manpower in remote areas where many cement plants are located, and retaining them has become a difficult task for companies. So, remote operation, support from distant locations, and online assistance are all vital for the smooth operation of quality control systems in modern cement plants.
Indian cement industry is known to be one of the leaders in emission control in the world is also emulating global best practices in quality control, which strive to ensure: